catus v2s distance?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by goodoneian, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    so from pretty much everywhere i've read i've seen that they will trigger to a max of around 30 feet. that's plenty of distance for me really, but i wanted to test it. i set my flash outside of my garage and ended up getting 148 paces away from it and it would still cire consistantly. not really sure how big my stride is but im 5'9" so i'm guessing around 2.5- 3 feet. does this seem odd to anyone? i haven't modded it at all yet and the only thing i've done to them is change the receiver batteries. i'm obviously not complaining but i was a little surprised to find this out. i would post a picture but i didn't get a good one at the max distance since it started to drizzle :O
     
  2. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Stock out of the box 30 ft. With the mods, I hit 358 feet but I had more in it... I had not not hit the limit where they started to fail.
     
  3. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    what i'm trying to say with my post is that with out modding mine at all i got 148 paces away and it still fired, even though stock out of the box is only supposed to be 30 feet.
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That is common. What they are rated at and what they do often are quite different.

    There are several talks of some people hitting 150 feet, and over 500 feet after the mods (no accurate measurements like I did, just guesstimates).

    All I know is that for me, stock, with the crappy 9/10ths dead batteries, mine started missing badly at around 35 feet, and after the mods, at 358 feet, I ran out of room (or would have had to trespass to get a few extra feet by walking on to someone's front yard) and I did not start to hit the maximum range limits).

    Read the posts on the strobist club and you will see it is common (and that one of the MOST important factors to good performance was a fresh set of batteries on both ends).
     
  5. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    hmm interesting. i was under the impression that around 30 feet was the max you could do stock which is why i was a little shocked to see how far i could get from mine
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well if you crack them open you'll see they were designed quickly and poorly with little to no consideration for RF communication. Hence they slapped the 30' number on them most probably as a guess, or just by a quick experiment. I doubt they would have stuck it in a microwave lab and actually tested it's antenna response given that they are so cheap.

    This is also the reason why you can get such a massive boost by putting a correct antenna on them, and unfortunately why they also miss fire quite a bit when they get interference.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've certainly not taken them everywhere, but I do have a good 3000-3500 pictures with them in various parts in and around Montreal. I must be lucky... the only misfire I have had to date is the one that I had during the initial distance test. It happened at the 358 foot mark. Nothing since.

    For a professional, there is no reason to not use anything but the best... but imagine if you will, what it would cost me to reproduce my setup using pocketwizards...
    3 transmitters 11 receivers (~$300). For 14 Pocket Wizard II's alone, the cost would be around $2520, or more than the price of a new Nikon D700! :confused: :pale: :stun: :stun: :pale: :confused:
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  8. KD5NRH

    KD5NRH TPF Noob!

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    Mine get about 40ft reliably and a bit more with occasional misses with the included batteries. I'm planning to pick up some fresh batteries this afternoon and see how much that helps. Of course, some of my longer shots were not line-of-sight, which tends to have an impact at 433MHz.

    Even at that range, though, it's plenty for me to be planning to buy a couple more receivers and bigger strobes to go on them soon. I've just been playing with them on a couple of Sunpak DS20s, since there's not an easy way to trigger my Minolta flash with them. On the other hand, the DS20s make for a small, portable bit of extra light that's cheap enough to avoid passing up shots due overcautiousness in light placement.
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If your flash has a hotshoe or a sync port, it can be wirelessly/remotely triggered. Even if your flash has ONLY a hotshoe with no sync port (like my SB-600s are), it is easily doable. All you need is a hotshoe adapter that has a sync port, and you need a sync wire. Works wonderfully for me. I recommend these even if you do not need them for 2 reasons:

    1. The cactus receiver raises the flash too high for me, causing it to fire off center
    2. The cactus receiver bracket makes the receiver/flash assembly too wobbly for me.

    The antenna mod is *SO* simple and *SO* easy, there is no reason not to do it. I also love the receiver mod where you then can use simple easily available AA batteries instead of these weird $12 batteries that are a ***** to find locally (at least for me!), that last a couple hundred shots before dying again.
     
  10. KD5NRH

    KD5NRH TPF Noob!

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    Unfortunately, the Minoltas only have the oddball foot and the 4-pin off-camera TTL port. Nobody seems to make an adapter for the Minolta foot to an ISO hotshoe, and triggering via the TTL port's ground and manual trigger contacts puts in a lot of delay. (Anything under 1/50sec doesn't fully illuminate.)

    Radio Shack had them for $13 per pair today, and I've seen them online cheap if you buy in bulk. Since I'm currently using them with the relatively tiny Sunpak DS20s, the extra height isn't an issue. It probably will be once I put some Vivitars on there, though, and I may try to rig something up with a couple of cheap hotshoes (the local dollar store has $1 35mm P&Ss with hotshoes on them; I doubt they could be bought in bulk any cheaper) to basically make a double mount that will firmly hold both the trigger and the strobe via their feet rather than bungees or tape.

    My primary use so far has been putting a Sunpak into the trigger's shoe and mounting the whole thing to a cheap WalMart lightweight monopod (sporting goods section, the shooter's stick, not the heavier one they have in the camera section) so I can have a "handheld" flash 6-8ft from the camera. That works fine with a 6oz flash, but I wouldn't want to hold a larger unit on a pole like that.
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do a search on the strobist group, I think someone has a fix for that, but you have to be handy with a soldering iron.

    I'm not really in the mood to go from Montreal to southern USA for a pair of batteries... lol. I paid 69 cents for the case with switch, took me all of 30 seconds soldering time and I purchase one $6 set of rechargeable AA batteries once and be good pretty much for LIFE. Just having the confidence knowing that you have a fully charged set in there is worth this tiny effort. With nonchargeable batteries, you never know their status unless new, or when you need them most and it's too late... lol

    I've only once had a need for a pole mounted setup (it's not somehing that I do very often). I was not going to use my monopod for that as mine was not sturdy enough for my needs, so I went to a local hardware store and bought a 6 foot length of 1.5" thick wood dowel for $5 and a 2 inch long 3/8ths headless screw that I placed into the end of one side. A rubber foot on the opposite side completed that project. It was surprisingly very solid, light and since it was thicker, very easy for my voice operated light stand (my friend... lol) to handle for longer periods of time without fatigue, even with a swivel bracket, SB-800 and 43" umbrella on the end of it.

    DIY can be fun. :)
     
  12. JohnnyL

    JohnnyL TPF Noob!

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    How do you mod it?
     

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